A MEDITERRANEAN FAVOURITE
Sometimes you just don’t feel like cooking. Serving up an antipasto platter is a delicious, quick way to serve up a meal. In actuality, it is presented more like an appetizer. Many countries serve a version of this. In Spain they serve tapas. Turkey has their version, meze. In France they refer to this as hors d’oeuvres. Antipasto is the Italian name. However, with enough options, it can be pretty filling on its own. It is also a good way to try out some different cheeses and meats.
You can choose a theme from a specific country or simply try whatever foods you are interested in. An antipasto platter should consist of a combination of cheeses, meats, vegetables and either served with fresh bread or crackers. A fun thing to do is a taste-testing evening. You can describe the look, texture and tastes of each item. You can rate each item on a scale of 1-5.
For my antipasto platter I chose to serve it with French baguette. I went to a specialty Mediterranean deli called Greco’s where they import many cheeses, meats, oils, teas and other items from around the world. The difficult part was limiting what things I would take home. Obviously, I would have to do another evening like this to try different items. For my deli meats I sampled rosette de Lyon salami, Italian porchetta and prosciutto but also threw in a lovely cognac and cranberry paté.
I chose 3 cheeses: a soft, spreadable French triple cream truffle cheese and I made a toasted walnut, basil goat cheese ball. I prepared a roasted garlic and also, a tomato jam which both go nicely with the goat cheese. Finally, I served an apricot stilton for a sweet variety. I also wanted to serve some other varieties of foods so I opted for some large, nutty Cerignola olives, hummus and dolmades. The result was a delicious taste-testing evening that did not disappoint.